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Westland Printers--Improved Savings With Digital Proofing

October 1998

"The process meant running films, then stripping them into position to make a proof," Snyder recalls, noting that the process moved from the electronic prepress department to stripping and proofing departments. "The films left our department for proofing. When we got them back, we'd sort them out, cut them up and send them back to the customer." That process could run between one and two days, he points out.

"Now, digital scans are sent directly over a local area network to the Kodak Approval digital color proofing system [from Kodak Polychrome Graphics], and within an hour we have a proof we can show to the customer. If there are changes, we rescan the image and an hour later have another proof."

In addition, Snyder can match the digital proof to the press. "Most desktop proofs aren't sufficiently accurate for our pressroom," he notes. "What we get on the Kodak system is very close to what we match in the pressroom. The clients look at those proofs, and know this is what their finished job is going to look like. They can mark up the proof and send it back for corrections; they're making the color call and the image call based on the digital proof. "

And the digital proofs contribute to clearer communication, particularly between agencies and their clients.

"Before computers replaced drawing tables, a designer envisioned what he or she wanted to create and made a rough comp. Then the designer went to the client, made a sales pitch, and returned to create finished work from the rough comp," Snyder explains.

Now designers do all their work on the computer. The comp is printed to a desktop color printer.

"Everyone is misled," he says, "because they take a color comp to an end user, who thinks it's beautiful and OKs it. Then it gets output on the Kodak Approval [which has been press calibrated] in CMYK on our end, and now the colors don't match. All of a sudden, there's a big problem."

Westland Printers encourages its clients to utilize the Kodak Approval for comp and design decisions, following a lead set by marketing communications firm Garruba, Dennis, Konetzka. "Their people come here first. They do color tests with the digital proofer, then sell their client on the exact colors we will be producing for them," Snyder says.

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